Sony Chairman Norio Ohga Receives
l'Ordine Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Chairman and CEO Norio Ohga was today named to l'Ordine Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana ( the Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic ) by the Italian Republic on behalf of President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. The Italian Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Mr. Giovanni Dominedo, decorated Mr. Ohga with the insignia of the Order during a ceremony held at the Italian Ambassador's Residence this morning.
L'Ordine Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana was created in 1951, replacing a similar Order which existed under the Italian Monarchy. The Order has five grades, and it is awarded by the President of the Republic to those who have rendered distinguished services in the field of science, letters, arts and economy or in the performance of activities for social and philanthropic aims. The award is also given to those who have a long and outstanding service in civil and military offices.
Mr. Ohga was bestowed with the rank of Grande Ufficiale ( Grand Officer ), the highest grade that can be awarded to civilians. Mr. Ohga is the first Sony Corporation executive to receive this prestigious honor.
In bestowing the award on Mr. Ohga, the Italian Republic cited the important contribution that he has made over a number of years to the bilateral relationship between Italy and Japan.
Commenting on this morning's ceremony, Mr. Ohga said, "I am very honored to receive the Order of Merit from the Italian Republic. I have a special admiration for Italy and the Italian people ever since I was a student of classical music many years ago. My relationship with Italy deepened over the years through Sony, and I am proud that today Sony employs close to 1,000 people in Italy, in the areas of manufacturing, sales and marketing. Our growth over the years was made possible by the dedication and hard work of the Sony Family in Italy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sony Italy for their continued efforts and cooperation."